Trump, Brexit and Leicester: has there ever been a crazier year than 2016?

Trump, Brexit and Leicester - the crazy things that have happened in 2016

2016 has been an eventful year, to say the least

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Let 2016 forever be known as the year when the world went just a little bit mad. 

From historic political events to a series of high-profile deaths, it's certainly been...eventful, to say the least. 

Let's break down what's happened this year. 

A spate of high-profile celebrity death

It began with Natalie Cole, the daughter of Nat King Cole, dying at the age of 65 from heart failure caused by lung disease. Then the music world was left reeling on January 10 with the announcement that David Bowie had passed away from cancer at the age of 69 - the world only learned he was sick on the day of his death. 

Then Celine Dion's husband, Rene Angelil, died from cancer aged 73, and Professor Snape himself, actor Alan Rickman, died on the same day - also from cancer. They were followed by BBC broadcasting legend Sir Terry Wogan at the end of January, Frank Sinatra Jr. in March, and music legend Prince in April. Other notable names include Alexis Arquette, star of The Wedding Singer a renowned transgender activist, and Charmian Carr, who protrayed Liesl in The Sound Of Music. 

There were others, of course, but as the other events of 2016 happened, the press attention went elsewhere. 

Leicester win the Premier League

It was the ultimate rise of the underdog. At the end of the 2014-15 season, Leicester City FC were a hairsbreadth away from being relegated. They looked doomed with just weeks to go, but a series of escapologist victories saw them to safety.

But that was nothing compared with what came the following season. Journeyman players like Jamie Vardy and Danny Drinkwater were transformed into superstars as Leicester, 500-1 outsiders for the title at the start of the 2015-16 season, managed to pull it off. You'd have got shorter odds on alien being elected US president (although some would argue that's preferable to the guy who's actually been chosen).

Australia places second in Eurovision

Forget 500/1... a few years ago bookies wouldn't have considered opening a book on Australia winning Eurovision. That's not to denigrate Australia's heritage as a nation of song - from Kylie Minogue to Jason Donovan, they've got a rich and varied musical heritage. It's just that, well, Australia isn't in Europe.

So it's easy to see why people were surprised and confused when a talented antipodean singer called Dami Im placed second with her song Sound of Silence in this year's contest. At least the countries which usually beat Britain are actually in Europe.

Myriad memes soon began surfacing on the net - the famous quote from Mean Girls "She doesn't even go here!" was one of them. 

The UK votes to leave the European Union

Stunned and dismayed by the admission of Australia to the eurovision song contest, the UK decided it had to leave Europe altogether. It was a strong measure, but in many people's eyes justified.

Just like in the US election, the pollsters universally called it wrong. ''Course we'll stay in' they said haughtily from the lofty pixellated perches of their TV studios. But on June 23, in stormy conditions not unlike those witnessed in Britain last night, the country voted to sever its ties with Brussels.

Immediately, the value of the pound plummetted. The Home Office recorded a rise in the number of racially-motivated incidents in the wake of the vote. David Cameron resigned, and Theresa May replaced him as the head of the party and the government. But at least Nigel Farage was happy.

England are beaten by Iceland in the Euros

Just days after the Brexit vote, when millions of Remainers were still simmering with rage, their country's followers compounded the situation by losing to Iceland. 

In a match labelled "the worst defeat in British history", the English side lost 2-1 to a country of just 300,000 people, leaving the country humiliated. The press described it a second exit from Europe - but whereas the voters' shocking withdrawal was greeted with mixed emotion, the footballers' version received universal derision.

UKIP members brawl in the European Parliament

In the weeks and months following the referendum, the UK Independence Party (UKIP), one of the key Brexit campaigners, seemed to fall apart. First, Nigel Farage - a long-time leader of the party - annouced he's stepping down because he "wants his life back". Then his successor, Diane James, quit after 18 days.

The storm came to a head after one of UKIP's European politicians, Steven Woolfe, was taken to hospital after collapsing in the centre of the EU Parliament in Strasbourg. Pictures circulated on Twitter of the MEP lying, unmoving, on a bridge in the building. 

It emerged later that Woolfe and one of his fellow MEPs, Mike Hookum, had been involved in some sort of dispute and had allegedly brawled over the fact that Woolfe had supposedly been in talks to join the Conservative party - something that was strenuously denied by Hookem. The case was serious enough that it has been referred to the French authorities.

Woolfe, a couple of weeks after his recovery, then left the party, claiming it was in "a death spiral", while the unfortunately named Hookem has remained silent since stating his denial.

Donald Trump becomes President-elect of the United States of America. 

This is still so fresh, granted its only happened today. But it's probably the most shocking incident of all of them.

He was a candidate unlike no other - condemned for leading an openly racist campaign, blasted for sexism in his comments, and ridiculed for his fiery responses whenever he was criticised.

But today, Donald Trump triumped over Hillary Clinton to be elected President of the United States. The world has yet to see what awaits it when he formally takes office on January 20, 2017. 

After all those shocks, many of them unpleasant, people would be forgiven for wanting the year to be ended early. You might say that's impossible, but then people would have said the same about an Australian winning eurovision, Leicester winning the Premier League or a man who once appeared in professional wrestling winning the most powerful job on earth.

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